41. Gothennet

As a poet, I am enamored by Poe’s writing. There is something about the dark—yet oddly humorous—quality of his words that grabs me; lures me into a web of . . . joy. Strange how that is, isn’t it?

When I look at art today, and I try to think of some semblance of Poe, what comes to mind is the Batman. Think about it. Bruce Wayne had a grim start to his life. A grim present with all the mayhem in Gotham. And, of course, a lot of the characters in the comic are a bit mentally deranged.

Sadly, I never looked up to the Batman when I was a kid. I never appreciated him for his costumes or his gadgets or the Bat Cave or his Bat Mobile. Nor the fact that he’s the only popular superhero without any super powers. Maybe his muscular build (for obvious reasons). So, when the kids at school would bicker about who would win: Batman or Superman (which, let’s face it, is a moot quandary), I’d walk away and sit at a quiet corner and read.

It is the more recent portrayals of Batman that have driven me to the point of concession that he can be awesome. The Batman I like has had to make some tough decisions in his life. He has a sort of vulnerability to him, too. A touch of insanity. When you think about it, Bruce could have ended up like Javert in Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. But he didn’t. He overcame the need for vengeance (somewhat) and became Batman.

Today, I thought I’d bring out a form I’ve been playing around with for some time now. It is eponymously named the Gothennet, for the Dark Knight’s hometown Gotham City. I’d intended for the flow of the Gothennet to have a sort of Villanelle feel to it while having a familiar structure to the sonnet, as well as having a theme of Batman-esque darkness to it, and a quality of crispness.

The Gothennet is composed of two sestets (six-liners) and a concluding couplet—a total of 14 lines. It is typically written in iambic tetrameter or at least in octosyllabic lines and features refrains. Its rhyme scheme is as follows: AbaBac AcaBcb BA, where A and B are refrains.

The clouds make haste for the dark moon,
As it climbs over fire and rook
In a town that shall slumber soon,
For solace by a jester long betook.
A boy at a corner rough-hewn
Laughs and cries and dances alone.

The clouds make haste for the dark moon,
Past the mirror, sees the boy now grown.
Naked and loved in winter’s June—
But solace by a jester long betook,
Lest the seams of Fate now lie sown,
As soul and heart hang by the hook.

For solace by a jester long betook—
The clouds make haste for the dark moon.


Poetry Pantry
Fully Booked: David Finch in Manila

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4 thoughts on “41. Gothennet

  1. This is a really nice poem. I enjoyed it.

    I love Poe, too. He’s one of my favorite classic writers. I would have never thought to compare his works to Batman, but I can definitely see where you’re coming from there.

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